Category Archives: Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design Trends – The Most Desired Kitchen Features

Kitchen Island - The Most Desired Feature

Kitchen Island – The Most Desired Feature

The Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) gathered feedback from kitchen design professionals indicating what consumers ask for most when they want to start remodeling their kitchen.

1) Islands(80%) People want the flexibility an island gives not only as a prep & cooking area, but also as a storage area and maybe most importantly, socializing area in the kitchen

2) Roll-outs, Pull-outs & Pull-downs(79%) No more bending over or stretching up to reach something. Kitchen cabinets have accessories that can do that for you and keep you upright and enjoying everything about your new kitchen

3) Drawers instead of cabinets(79%) Store, store, store more, more, more in your kitchen cabinets!

4) Energy-efficient kitchen appliances(66%)One of the easiest, lesser expensive ways to go a little more environmentally friendly in the kitchen

5) Mix-and-match materials/surfaces/finishes(64%)Whether you mix kitchen cabinet finishes, use different kitchen countertops for main & island tops or find something even more inventive, mix-and-match requests create focal points within the kitchen and make it your own space.

Avoid Kitchen Design Mistakes – Top 10

1. The kitchen triangle

Experts refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your countertop workstations.

Sinks need to be installed in close proximity to the plumbing, but often kitchens are designed with the sinks installed right above the plumbing or in a poor location. Instead of making this kitchen design mistake, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the drains and the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

Regardless of kitchen size or layout (L-shaped kitchen, galley, U-shaped or island style), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet nor greater than 25 feet. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.

2. Storage space

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but kitchen items are often oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

Almost every kitchen design has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought. If the kitchen is small, consider installing extra long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up. Also remember to always install cabinets over the refrigerator. Not to fully utilize the space above the refrigerator is a waste of potential storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items.

Install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet, which can preserve about 4 square feet potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.

3. Countertop workspace

One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of countertops. Consider all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances that are permanently located there. You might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.

4. Poor lighting

The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also a safety matter when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware. Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting and accent lighting. For the kitchen, you especially should evaluate the work areas and focus on how you can provide each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, perhaps using pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants in areas where these enhance the lighting and beauty of the kitchen. Pendants look great above kitchen sinks, while a series of mini-pendants enhance the appearance and lighting of breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Also, install under-cabinet lighting as an additional way to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks. After all, the more light you have in the room, the better you can show off all of those amazing design elements you’ve added to the space.

5. A backsplash

While budgeting or designing a new kitchen or kitchen remodel, sometimes the backsplash considerations slip to the end of the list. Occasionally, the backsplash area is completely left out of the plan. This is one mistake that saves you money in the short term, but in the long run costs you a lot of time and effort. Imagine the steam, high humidity and grease content in the kitchen and you will understand why installing a backsplash behind the oven and extending it above all the counters throughout the kitchen is a smart idea. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile or metal than wall paint or wallpaper.

6. Ventilation

The best of kitchen design fades in the presence of a stench. If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home and smelled last night’s fish-and-chips lingering on the stale air, you’ll understand the importance of good ventilation. Inexpensive range hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air, while a good ventilation system will help improve the quality of your indoor air and also help keep your kitchen cleaner.

Effective ventilation systems also help extend the life of your appliances, and although they can be an investment, if you have a kitchen that opens to a living area or family room, they will make life easier, cleaner and more pleasant for everyone.

7. Proper kitchen island.

When it comes to kitchen islands, we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space in the kitchen. But the fact of the matter is that kitchen islands can waste a lot space. Choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get cluttered. Islands that obstruct the flow of traffic to and from the sink, refrigerator, stove and primary workstations will create bottlenecks and major hassles. At minimum, an island should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep, but it must also have room for people to move and work around it. Experts say that unless the kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and more than 12 feet long, one shouldn’t even consider an island.

8. Recyclables.

These days, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink. As recycling is here to stay, be prepared to manage your trash efficiently and incorporate trash sorting bins into your kitchen design.

9. Too trendy

Although it’s not necessarily a mistake, choosing the latest kitchen designs and high-end equipment may not be the best of choices. The most stylish color of the season and trendy designs have a short half-life, and you may never get your return on large investments in the latest kitchenware.

10. Professionals

Taking over a kitchen design project on your own to save money is a common mistake that can waste more money, time and energy. There are some jobs where, for safety and quality work, a professional is not a whim. Kitchen designers know the latest trends, ideas and manufacturer’s details; help you identify your specific needs; and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.

10 kitchen design mistakes to avoid – Yahoo! Homes

Kitchen Remodel with $3000 Budget

What kinds of new textures, new appliances, new surfaces, can now be yours in a kitchen remodel with a $3000 budget?

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Kitchen Remodel with $3000 Budget

New appliances, greater value

The budget concentrates a lot on new appliances. This would be the first place a lot of people would turn when undergoing a kitchen remodel with a $3000 budget, but there’s a reason for that. New appliances lend all kinds of long-term value, especially in the 21st century kitchen. First, modern appliances are designed to fit into a wide variety of kitchen designs. They’re designed to be sleek, as well as functional. They also tend to be more energy efficient, which has green lifestyle implications, as well as money-saving ones for the next big project. Regarding design, the choice of black appliances tend to represent options that open up all kinds of color-patterning possibilities. That’s some multifaceted and lasting value on a number of levels.

Cover more ground – and more walls and surfaces

One thing that a larger kitchen remodeling lets you do is to effect more surface area. This means tile flooring, either stone tile or ceramic. Some even include wood flooring in kitchens, or tile that looks like wood flooring. The same goes for a new countertop, and backsplash. These kinds of surfaces fundamentally change the look and feel of being in your kitchen. They can also provide that long-term value aspect. When you know you’ve used your budget wisely, you get a room that will provide returns for years to come.

More on energy efficiency in your remodeled kitchen

The installation of new windows and duel ceiling fans help to stretch the budget further. This is a chance to bring your kitchen into a new era; water efficient dish-washers, and freezers on the lower tier of your fridge for more efficient cooling buys you value that offers benefits beyond the cost for a kitchen remodel at this budgetary level.

Kitchen Design in 2013 – Modern Trumps Traditional

Modern Kitchen

A Modern Kitchen – Is One That You’re Meant To Live In

Hidden kitchen appliances will be a major design trend for 2013, says online retailer HomeThangs.com. More unusual appliances that blend in with the rest of the kitchen – specifically ones fronted with the same wood or lacquered material as the cabinets.

The trend goes a step beyond the cabinet material camouflage and means an increased emphasis on small or odd shaped appliances, like under-counter or mini refrigerators, and other compact appliances. The goal is to provide more counter space and keep the kitchen at a seamless waist-high level -perfect for installing into a kitchen island.

Kitchen design continues to trend toward more modern styles and away from traditional, says HomeThangs.com.

During 2012, traditional kitchen design was dethroned by the more-modern transitional style in the National Kitchen And Bath Association rankings, the first time ever in the history of the rating system, the retailer notes.

“There’s been a gradual but major upheaval in kitchen design in the last few years, and a major change in the way that designers look at the kitchen space,” according to HomeThangs.com

For 2013, kitchen design will employ simplified lines and big, open spaces made with gathering in mind.

Among other trends:

• All over lighting, a result of the popularity of LED lighting systems

• An increasing role for kitchen islands

• Glass back splashes. High gloss abounds everywhere, from cabinets to appliances, but nowhere is this more striking than in the rise of single-sheet, back-painted glass backsplashes

• Natural color schemes, including grays and greens, with bold accents and a variety of wood tones

• Eco-friendly materials, including bamboo floors and formaldehyde free MDF cabinets.

Kitchen Design for 2013? Modern Trumps Traditional

Stainless Steel is Still the Champion in Kitchen Design – Slate Options

Stainless Steel Kitchen Design

Whirlpool wants to encourage creative design ideas with its new “White Ice” collection. The white finish is trimmed with streamlined stainless steel handles and mirrored glass.

Stainless steel kitchen appliances have been sizzling hot for decades. But stainless steel’s dominance is being challenged by new colors and finishes, as appliance companies suspect consumers are tiring of stainless steel.

Whirlpool is hoping to get folks to think outside the stainless-steel box with its “White Ice” collection. White Ice has a white finish, trimmed with sleek stainless steel handles and mirrored glass. Normally, white appliances have white handles, black appliances have black handles, and the same with stainless steel. So the steel-on-white is a bit of a twist.

Slate Kitchen Applicance“Slate” is what General Electric calls its newest finish for kitchen appliances. Slate is a warm gray metallic with a lower gloss than stainless steel. The appliances are accented with bold, brushed metal handles and knobs.

Wolf recently launched the E Series Black Glass Oven, pronouncing that “black is the new stainless steel.” The luxury ovens feature highly reflective black glass.

These new finishes aren’t a radical change from stainless steel. They’re meant to bring the same modern feeling to a kitchen and, like stainless steel, blend seamlessly with popular kitchen decorating materials, such as granite, natural stone and bamboo.

“We wanted these appliances to match that kind of decor,” Lou Lenzi, GE’s director for Industrial Design Operation, says of the slate collection. “As people transition their kitchen appliances over time, it was important to us to find a finish that is timeless and harmonious, yet distinctive.”

But new finishes could be a tough sell because most appliances are purchased individually to replace one that has died, rather than an entire set in one fell swoop. Given that, the White Ice customer likely is either remodeling a kitchen or purchasing a home.

“New homes and renovations were in our minds as we were developing the collection,” says Whirlpool’s vice president of global consumer design Patrick Schiavone, who spent two decades as a car and truck designer at Ford Motor Co. before joining Whirlpool in 2010. “Thinking this way helped to crystallize our ideas and not compromise the design. We were not overly concerned with replacement purchases because we knew that we would still be offering the all-white option.”

Lenzi says GE’s slate was designed not only to complement materials that are popular in modern decor, but also to mix easily with other appliance finishes such as stainless steel, black or white as appliances in those colors are replaced. What’s more, slate is warmer than stainless steel, and customers might find that refreshing, Lenzi adds.

Stainless steel reflects, so to speak, the contemporary, upscale lifestyle portrayed in cooking and interior design magazines. In many new homes and others being renovated, cavernous kitchens have become the space where families hang out.

“Until the industrial age, the kitchen was central to the home,” Victoria Matranga, an industrial-design historian and program coordinator for the International Housewares Association, told the Wall Street Journal. The kitchen lost that role as kids went to their second-floor bedrooms with their own TVs, she says. “Now there’s a movement to get people together again in the kitchen.”

Appliance experts say stainless steel is holding its own for several reasons. For one, it’s sturdy and durable. Secondly, it’s at the intersection of these high-tech influenced times and interior design, in that it blends with the flat-screen televisions and pads that have become part of the kitchen scene in some homes.

If there’s any grousing about stainless steel, it’s that it’s hard to clean and magnets don’t always stick to it very well.

“Slate takes magnets so your kids’ pictures can appear on the fridge,” Lenzi jokes.

The American appliance market has been stagnant along with the housing market, so to fire up sales, appliance makers have been trying to tempt consumers with new finishes, says Don Cochran, appliance manager for Babin Kitchen & Bath. For example, Jenn-Air introduced a finish called Oiled Bronze.

“It didn’t go anywhere,” says Cochran. “People vote with their wallets.”

But you can’t blame appliance companies for trying.

“The U.S. appliance market could use some revitalizing,” Cochran says. “But new housing applies to less than 15 percent of the appliance market. The appliance market is overwhelmingly retail replacement,” he adds, and people don’t want to end up with a kitchen full of appliances with different finishes.

John Hall of The Hall Design Group in Chagrin Falls says Sub-Zero launched a platinum finish to lure customers away from stainless steel.

“It’s gone,” Hall says of the platinum. “The only thing that has stuck is stainless steel. It’s timeless.”

Stainless might have reached a plateau as an edgy kitchen fashion statement, but consumers apparently are still loving it. Says Cochran, “I’m not going to be changing my displays anytime soon.”

Stainless steel, still the champion in kitchen design, has new challengers | cleveland.com

A Smart Kitchen Design

Kitchen Work Zones

Good kitchen design makes entertaining easier. Here’s how to create a kitchen with an intelligent workflow.

Without a doubt, the kitchen is the busiest room in any house, especially when you’re entertaining guests. A well planned layout can make your kitchen a pleasure to work in, as well as add value to your home.

There’s no such thing as the perfect kitchen design – kitchens can range anywhere from efficient and functional to hellishly awkward, and from tiny kitchenettes to grand spaces that would make a professional chef feel like a king.

In recent years, the trend has been to open the interior spaces around the kitchen to allow in more light and create a large, common area for activities shared by busy families. The modern, open kitchen presents a stark contrast to the formal rooms walled off from the kitchen in previous eras.

Today, kitchens are typically merged with or connected to family rooms and great rooms, which feature high ceilings, lots of windows, and patio doors leading onto decks.( I’m pretty sure that the “living room” died sometime in the 1990s.) Informal seating at a kitchen island, bar, or peninsula allows us to have coffee and a chat, watch the kids, catch the TV news, and keep the cookies from burning – all without leaving the room.

Since every kitchen has its unique set of problems and opportunities, you need to give serious thought to practical everyday functionality, whether you’re renovating, buying, or building. Remember, even if you have a small family now, homes that can accommodate the needs of multiple generations are in demand. People are planning to house their aging parents in the future, and the U.S. population of immigrants, who traditionally live in multi-generational households, is growing.

Kitchen activity zones

The scenario outlined below is based on a casual potluck dinner party with family and friends, but the same logistics apply for the average busy family. The kitchen “zone map” illustrates a few basic design fundamentals to consider when planning a kitchen or assessing a kitchen when house shopping. A key factor in getting the most from your kitchen draws on the organizing principle that two or more activities can happen in the same place, providing that they occur at different times.

Kitchen Work Zones

GREEN – Everything labeled in green indicates activities prior to sitting down for the main course.
RED – Everything labeled in red indicates activities after finishing the main course through clean up and after-dinner coffee.

Kitchen size – 14′ 4″ wide x 13′ 3″ long
Island – 3′ 3″ x 7′ 9″
Aisles – 42″ wide

Why this kitchen layout works
The main reason that this kitchen layout works is that the critical workspaces – the sink and stove – are isolated from the traffic routes. Guests arriving with a casserole or a bottle of wine can drop them on the island, say “hi,” grab an appetizer and a drink, and then mingle without interfering with the meal preparations.

Another plus of this kitchen layout is that the fridge is close to the gathering zone, so anyone looking for another beer or more dip can grab it without disrupting the cooks. This particular kitchen layout could easily accommodate three or four people working in the prep, cooking, and serving zones – making salads, cooking, warming casseroles, organizing plates, etc.

When you look at the activities shown in red you can see that they follow a natural circular path: dinner dishes, for example, are cleared along one aisle to the sink while desserts and coffee are served from the other side of the island. At the end of the evening, clean casseroles dishes and food containers can be placed on the island for guests to claim on their way out the door.

Just replace “guests” with “kids” and you can see how well this kitchen layout works for a typical family at any mealtime.

Islands and peninsulas are valuable kitchen “real estate” if you have enough room: they provide wide-open counter space, additional seating, and direct traffic flow. If adding an island to a kitchen will potentially obstruct one leg of the “work triangle” (stove–sink–fridge), consider adding a small prep sink or refrigerator drawers in the island to create an alternate work triangle.
Difficult kitchens

Sometimes there’s little you can do to improve a poor kitchen space without major reconstruction and expense. Window and door locations drive the design and function of most kitchens. A large kitchen space may look attractive until you realize that the “highway” from the mudroom to the family room runs up the middle – right between the sink and the stove (not so good_.

My pet peeve is spaces that are exactly the “wrong” size – too narrow for a proper island and too wide for placing cabinets and appliances on parallel walls without leaving wasted space in the center of the room. Invariably, guests tend to occupy this space in a well meaning, but futile effort “to stay out of your way” while you’re preparing dinner.

Whether you’re entertaining friends or simply spending time at home, a well planned kitchen will make it a more enjoyable and relaxing event. Take the time to consider how a space will suit your lifestyle and particular needs, and you’ll avoid future disappointment and frustration with your kitchen.

Smart Kitchen Design – Buildipedia.com.

Kitchen Renovation Analysis & Tips

Kitchens remain the heart of most homes. It’s not only where we cook and eat, but where friends and family gather, children do homework and daily chores are organized and completed. Kitchens provide a sense of comfort and belonging, so it’s good news that kitchen remodels can retain a significant portion of their value.

Before you begin, especially in today’s shaky economy, it’s imperative to select the correct level of remodeling for what you need now, with an eye on your home’s future resale value. Critical factors to assess include the overall budget, how long you expect to stay in your home and what type of kitchens are in other houses in your neighborhood.

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange minor kitchen remodels or “cosmetic” changes – new countertops, cabinet fronts, a few new appliances, light fixtures and hardware – have an average national cost of $20,000 and get 72 percent return on investment. Midrange major remodels, which include all new appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring and lighting, have an average cost of $58,000 and a 66 percent return. High-end renovations, which can include structural work or relocating to another area in the home, installing larger windows and replacing all kitchen components, can easily cost $100,000 or more. With a more extensive and expensive renovation, returns fall to the 50 percent to 60 percent range.

Tips in planning your remodel:
Assess your needs and wants. How do you use your kitchen? How many cooks are there? How many daily meals do you cook? What kind of appliances and equipment do you need? Do you eat there? What other activities occur in the kitchen? What are the storage requirements? Is there plenty of natural lighting? Do you want to display any kitchen items?

— List all items you would like to replace and establish priorities. If you are a gourmet cook, you will probably want to splurge on professional-grade appliances.

— Develop an initial itemized budget.

— Research the latest in kitchen design on the Internet, blogs, decorating magazines and even local show houses or model homes.

— Organize your inspirations and thoughts. Houzz.com provides a great site for collecting and storing your ideas.

— Finalize budget and determine the extent of the renovation. For larger projects, hire a design professional to help you navigate the layout and make decisions.

Ways to maximize your budget:

— Cabinetry: Most people today are drawn to a sleeker kitchen, which means flat-panel doors such as Shaker-style. These are cheaper than raised panel doors and opulent molding. Also, alder wood, in lieu of cherry or maple, can bring savings on cabinetry.

— Countertops: Stone countertops are most attractive to prospective buyers. Quartz, such as Silestone is a cost-effective material that adds a great look yet has easy maintenance properties.

— Appliances: If you are a serious cook, it will be worthwhile to invest in nicer-grade appliances. Don’t buy extended warranties.

— Flooring: Prefinished hardwood floors, porcelain tile or natural stone remain popular selections. These floors attract prospective buyers.

— Backsplash tile: There are wonderful glass and/or stone mosaics on the market that are affordable and eye catching. Stay away from decorative accent pieces that are priced per single piece. Subway tile, a classic with enduring appeal, provides a crisp look.

Kitchen renovation: Consider your needs, resale value – San Jose Mercury News.